Headed back to NYC to See "A Delicate Balance." I will not be taking Amtrak.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

In this, the winter of few things going according to plan, I begin to wonder: What is the point of any plan?

I'm not the only one asking this question. Oh, Boston. Oh friends in Boston. How do you do it?

Yesterday, I left the house in the cold and early dark, leaving myself five hours of extra time to get to my NYC client meeting an hour ahead of time. A six-hour cushion, in other words. But, oh, what a chase it became, as Amtrak dropped train after train and then left a single track open for trains headed into and out of Penn Station.

You go. No, you go. No, all right, you go. No, I'm happy to wait another hour. You go.

I made the meeting in time, but only after a mad dash through the train station that culminated in an encounter with a man of little means (and clear psychological demons), who turned around on the escalator leading to 31st and Eighth and (seeing I cannot imagine what in me) threatened to push me down the moving stairs. I held the badly bruised arm of the week's earlier accident just out of reach and barely escaped the possibility of a mean tumble.

Getting home from NYC proved to be an odyssey of even greater proportions. The details don't matter. I was hardly alone (indeed, I was with my client and hundreds upon hundreds of others) as one train after another was cancelled, delayed, left on the tracks, neglected, checked in, then out of the You go, No, you go single tracking situation. Sure, I should have spent the time reading the fantastic Atticus Lish novel I recently downloaded. But at one point I gave up.

I became a simple, unexercised, bruised silly lump of Wait. A walking, mostly sitting exemplar of What is the point?

Today, believe it or not, I am headed back to New York, this time to see Edward Albee's "A Delicate Balance," starring Glenn Close, John Lithgow, Lindsay Duncan, Clare Higgins, and Martha Plimpton, then to take my son out to dinner. It's my early birthday present to myself (aided by my father's Christmas gift). The play's closing weekend.

I will not be taking Amtrak.


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